Living with Pain, Stress, and Stiffness? Tai Chi Says Don’t

This article was written and submitted by Kim Bishop.

Who says everyday life and aging has to involve stress, pain and inflexibility?  Not Master Robert Goodman and his Tai Chi students. You’ll find them getting healthy and having fun Tuesday mornings at the Seven Lakes West Community Center where Robert teaches a complete system of Tai Chi for health, stress reduction, and personal enjoyment.

Tai Chi is an internal art that begins by learning external movements.  Students can experience health benefits even from the very first classes.  

“For years I have had neck and shoulder pain,” new student Kim said.  “I had tried medication and physical therapy which provided only temporary relief.  I had decided that this was part of my life. After 2 sessions my pain was almost completely gone.  I am so very grateful to be working with Shifu Robert.”

Robert is described as a dedicated, highly trained, and committed teacher.  He has studied with two ‘old world’ masters and has studied the internal arts of Tai Chi for over twenty years.  He has also studied Bagua and Xingyi privately with Grandmaster Bow Sim Mark.

Robert teaches his Tai-questrian method of riding to his equestrian students with great success.  He receives Equestrian Classical Dressage training under the tutelage of Jean Pierre Guiotat from the Cadre Noir de Saumur, a French Riding School.

Before Tai Chi, Robert had a textbook Type ‘A’ personality.  He began suffering from daily intense headaches which he eased with aspirin daily.  

At the time, he had his own horse breeding business and two third-degree black belts from two different Shaolin-Kempo martial arts systems.  

He tells his students that he was a quintessential, goal-focused, driven professional.  However, his quality of life and health were at an all-time low.

Tai Chi changed his life, driving away his pain and stress as he progressed.  Now he lives to teach others.

“We do special exercises in each class to train students to feel… to control their movements from the inside,” Robert explained.  “This is not an easy task when you consider the fact that every student has devoted their life to doing everything with external movements.  

“So, in class, they look at every movement, including how they walk, to learn and develop this internal gift.  This involves no magic or secrets – just a commitment to being open minded.  Success is having no expectations, thus avoiding the stress from the beginning.”  

This internal practice has amazing health and healing benefits.

“We are not just learning Tai Chi ‘moves’, but actually understanding the basis behind this ancient art,” one student explained.  “Not only is the class interesting and beneficial, but it is actually fun! I look forward to continuing the journey and discovering what else may await.”

All are welcome to attend this Tai Chi beginner’s class at Seven Lakes West Community Center, Tuesdays from 9:30 to 10:30 am.  Contact Master Robert at (919) 819-1377 or for more information.